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A Theology of Public Life


Part of Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine

  • Date Published: October 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521539906

£ 46.00

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About the Authors
  • What has Washington to do with Jerusalem? In the raging debates about the relationship between religion and politics, no one has explored the religious benefits and challenges of public engagement for Christian believers - until now. This book defends and details Christian believers' engagement in contemporary pluralistic public life not from the perspective of some neutral 'public', but from the particular perspective of Christian faith, arguing that such engagement enriches both public life and Christian citizens' faith themselves. As such it offers not a 'public theology', but a 'theology of public life', analysing the promise and perils of Christian public engagement, discussing the nature of civic commitment and prophetic critique, and the relation of a loving faith to a liberal politics of justice. Theologically rich, philosophically rigorous, politically, historically and sociologically informed, this book advances contemporary discussion of 'religion and public life' in fundamental ways.

    • Introduces readers to relevant conversations in the fields of philosophy, political science, history and sociology
    • Builds on the last few decades' revisionist appreciation of the thought of Augustine
    • Advances contemporary discussions of 'religion and public life' in fundamental ways
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… substantial and richly researched study.' Church Times

    Review of the hardback: '… a very significant book, the product of a virtuously theological and energetic mind. Mathewes has read voraciously, thought deeply, and is gifted with a penetratingly analytical mind and a very lively prose style. All this means that the book should be widely read.' Pro Ecclesia

    'I am in awe of this book … On so many levels, it is a delight.' Ian S. Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA

    'A Theology of Public Life is a welcome addition to the canon of theological literature.' Search: A Church of Ireland Journal

    'Matthewes's theology of engagement is masterly … moments of delightful humour … It deserves attention from scholars and Christian activists alike but, in the end, it is a manifesto for the church …' Ecclesiology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521539906
    • length: 384 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: life in the epilogue, during the world
    Part I. A Theology of Engagement: Introduction
    1. Life before God
    2. Life in the world
    3. Life together
    Part II. The Liturgy of Citizenship: Introduction
    4. Faithful citizenship
    5. Hopeful citizenship
    6. Charitable citizenship
    Conclusion: The republic of grace
    or, the public ramifications of heaven.

  • Author

    Charles T. Mathewes, University of Virginia
    Charles T. Mathewes is Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia. His other publications include Evil and the Augustinian Tradition (2001).

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